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I Presteign Officials. ;

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I Presteign Officials. I Council and Their Salaries. I CLERK ASKS FOR WAR BONUS. NOT A TIME FOR INCREASES. Mr W. Bird (chairman) presided at the last meeting of the Presteign Urban Council, and there were present the Rev. H. L. Kewley, Mr H. J. Sparey, Mr W. Davies, Mr G. W. Preece, Mr S. Morris, Mr F. L. Green (clerk), and Mr J. J. Griffiths' (surveyor and inspector.) In his report the surveyor stated that during Wednesday's storm the sewer in High street failed to take all the water, and some of it overflowed on to Mr Bird's premises. The new pipes laid down in Church street had been effective, and no damage was done in that part of the town. He thought the best means to relieve the pressure in High street, which Mr Bird stated was as bad as ever, was to put a manhole on the Market Hall corner, as most of the water came down the Green End. Mr Sparey considered that this would result in endless expense. Mr W. Davies observed that if they closed the drains in High street it would relieve the pressure. Mr Sparey proposed that this be done, and it was agreed to allow the surface water to flow down the gutter in future. Mr Sparey remarked that they could never cater for exceptional storms. If they could remedy the outburst on to people's premises they must be satisfied. Mr John Kendrick, scavenger, applied for his wages to be increased from 19s to 20s per week during the war; and the Rev. H. L. Kewley moved. Mr Sparey seconded, and-Mr W. Davies supported, that this be granted. Mr Preece proposed that it be not granted. He should like to see a great deal more work done for the money. He advised councillors to go and in- spect the back lanes, which were in a scandalous state. They had no right to spend the ratepayers' money in increasing salaries. Mr S. Morris seconded, stating that he did so in the ratepayers' interests. The amendment was however lost on being put to the vote. Surveyor's Application. I The surveyor also applied for an increase, point- ing out that his duties had greatly increased during the last three years, and that the work under the Housing and Town Planning Act would be con- tinuous. 1 < Mr William Davies said it was understood when Mr J. J. Griffiths was appointed that he was to receive remuneration for work done under this Act—not as an increase to his salary, but as pay- ment for the actual work done. As they had no statement before them showing what work bad been done, he proposed that the application be deferred until such was sent in by the surveyor. Mr Griffiths explained that the number of 1 louses inspected appeared in the Medical Officer of Health's annual report. Mr G. W. Preece felt inclined to support the application, but, at this critical time in the his- tory of the country, he should oppose the granting of any increase in salaries. He was, however, willing to support the payment of a small sum for work done under the Act referred to. Mr W. Davies thought they might come to some understanding that the surveyor was to be paid for this work, and that it would be better if Mr Griffiths would defer his application for 12 months. The Rev. H. L. Kewley thought this was not a time to consider applications for increases in salaries, but something ought to be done with regard to paying the surveyor for work done ui der the Housing Act, and payment had bee" promised him. He was of opinion that Mr Grif- fiths should be paid an annual sum sufficient for the work done. Mr William Davies moved, Mr-.Preece second- ed. and it was carried, that the application for increases of salary in regard to his ordinary duties be not considered until Mr Griffiths had given three months notice. On the motion of Mr Davies, seconded by Mr Sparey, it was decided that payment for special work be not considered until such time as the surveyor furnished them with particulars of the actual work done. Mr Davies said he should like to see their surveyor withdrawing the appli- cation for the present. Mr Griffiths replied that he would allow it to be deferred to March next, and Mr Davies con- gratulated him on his generous action. Clerk Asks for War -Basnw. I Mr F. L. Green made an application for a* war bonus, and stated he regretted that owing to the increase in the prices of everything he could not go on living on his present salary. After point- ing out that two other councils had increased the salaries of their officers, he said he did not ask for a permanent increase, but only an increase to meet the present occasion and the wants of his family and himself. The council, he found on calculation, paid him 9d per hour, and this sum did not include the cost of keeping an office open all the week. Replying to Mr W. Davies, he said lie had an application to make for an in- crease in his salary as collector. Mr Davies suggested that such application should now be made, and Mr Green feU in with the suggestion, remarking that the council had sanctioned an increase in the salary of the col- lector of poor rates, and he asked that he should be paid at the same rate as that gentleman. Mr William Davies pointed out that Mr Cur- tis's salary was paid out of the poor-rate and not by the council. Mr Green said the council voted him the in- crease. Mr W. Davies moved that the application be not granted at present. They had made no pro- vision in their estimate for any increase in salar- ies and the clerk laid down a hard and fast rule that they must make proper, provision for their expenses. If they voted an increase, they could not pay it, as they had not sufficient funds. He did not want to be harsh, but he thought they had. a right to expect a three months' notice of such an application from their clerk. He did not consider the clerk had carried out the duties of collector in a proper way. He had never col- lected the rate personally, but sent a demand note round with a boy, and expected people to take the money to his office. He thought the collector should go round personally and demand the rates, and that lie should go, at least once, to receive the rate. Mr Green observed that Mr Davies's statement was absolutely incorrect. Every ratepayer was personally called upon. Mr Morris quite disagreed with the statement made by Mr Davies. He thought Mr Green was an excellent collector, and he did not consider it necessary for him to go. round personally for the money. The Rev. H. L. Kewley endorsed the first re- marks made by Mr Davies, to the effect that the application be not granted. His experience on the county council was that, although they had increased the labourers' wages owing to the war, he could not remember that any single officer had been granted an increase. Consequently, he felt that it was, so to speak, a bit unpatriotic in mak- ing the application at the present time. They had all to do their little bit, and he had to have a little less fire, a little less to eat and drink, and so on, and he was afraid that Mr Green would have to do the same as the rest of them He did not think that they should be doing right in giv- ing him an increase on the grounds applied for, viz., as a war bonus, but if he had applied for an increase of salary they might have postponed it for three months. The chairman agreed with MroKewley, remark- ing that all had to feel the "pinch," and that things were dear for other ratepayers as well as for officials. Mr Preece supported, thinking that the time was not opportune for making any increase in salaries. The application was not granted. A letter was read from Mr Malcolm Smith, Llandrindod, suggesting that possibly something might be done in the way of organising all volun- tary help which could be obtained in the county for the making of ammunitions, etc. After discussion, the chairman was asked on the suggestion of the Rector, to keep in touch with the writer of the letter with a view to seeing whether anything could be done in the matter.

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